I have no idea what they are talking about in the final paragraph of a statement put out yesterday by the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) in response to the Secretary of State’s announcement that the CEILING (the top number that could be admitted to the US) will be 30,000 in FY19. See my post yesterday, here.
Over the years we have written extensively about RCUSA, a consortium set up under the auspices of Church World Service, of the federal refugee contractors and other assorted ‘human rights’ groups to promote refugee admissions, organize demonstrations against this President, and to lobby Congress since technically the contractors are not permitted to use their federal dollars to lobby (see ORR letter below).
And, don’t miss this post where I reported that RCUSA had hired the now disgraced and disbanded Podesta Group to lobby key Senators for more refugees.
I want to know if any of the over $100,000 that went to Tony Podesta and his pals was taxpayer money!
Here is RCUSA’s opening volley directed at the White House yesterday:
Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Administration’s intention to set the refugee admissions level for Fiscal Year 2019 at 30,000, the lowest number ever in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Refugee Council USA, a coalition of resettlement agencies and other organizations that promote robust protections for refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable people in need of humanitarian assistance, is deeply disappointed in this retrenchment of U.S. leadership and deeply concerned about the impact of this decision on vulnerable refugees needing resettlement.
Mary Giovagnoli, RCUSA Executive Director, noted: “As a generous and compassionate country, the United States has a long, proud tradition of welcoming refugees. With today’s announcement, the United States is turning its back on thousands of vulnerable refugee families in harm’s way and abandoning its historic global leadership role in refugee protection and resettlement. The reduction in refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2019 is part of a systematic effort by the Trump administration to tear down humanitarian programs long afforded bipartisan support that local communities built over decades. The deliberate step-by-painful-step decimation of the resettlement program not only harms vulnerable refugee families and the communities that are ready to welcome them, but also strains the resources and threatens the stability of smaller, poorer refugee host countries left to fill the void created by the withdrawal of U.S. leadership.
But hope is not lost.
We still have the desire, capacity, and resources to welcome at least 75,000 refugees to the United States in the coming year. And we will spend every waking moment looking for ways to do just that as part of restoring the strong American tradition of welcoming refugees.
So what does that mean? Sounds downright menacing!
Are they going to hire more expensive lobbyists to try to get Congress to reverse the President? Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the President has all the power to set the cap for the coming year and they know that.
Lobbying not permitted!
Just about this time last year, the new Director of ORR reminded contractors that they could not use taxpayer money for lobbying at any level of government. But, RCUSA helps them get around lobbying restrictions as the contractors donate money to RCUSA.
Does anyone ever check to see if it is our taxpayer dollars going to RCUSA?
Here is the reminder letter to the nine contractors*** and their subcontractors:
*** The nine major contractors (VOLAGS), all members of RCUSA, that monopolize the US Refugee Admissions Program are these:
Church World Service (CWS)
Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) (DFMS is its other name)
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
World Relief Corporation (WR)
And, the word is that a continued steep decline in the number of paying clients (aka refugees) entering the US will cause one or more of the contractors to go belly-up. You can bet the surviving contractors won’t be complaining since the nine are in constant competition with each other for more bodies to place in your towns and cities. A few more contractors won’t cause the remaining larger ones to lose sleep!
See Jim Simpson’s fantastic accounting of the billions the contractors have received from the US Treasury in the last ten years, here.